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Malaysia to develop flood disaster risk assessment

KUALA LUMPUR (CNA) – Malaysia is currently implementing a flood disaster risk assessment based on climate change forecasts, which is expected to be ready by 2024, said Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in parliament yesterday.

The risk assessment will be carried out through flood hazard and flood risks maps under the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), covering 36 major river basins, which are ready to be developed, he said.

For the Klang Valley area, flood hazard maps for six river basins are also ready for development, along with the flood risk map for the Bernam River basin.

“The development for these hazard and risk maps are expected to be ready in 2024, and updated continuously,” said Tuan Ibrahim during question time in the Lower House.

He was responding to a question on the ministry’s efforts to study the possibility of drastic climate change and more frequent natural disasters. On the country’s disaster early warning system, Tuan Ibrahim said that both the DID and Malaysian Meteorological Department were always maintaining and improving the system’s level of alertness.

Under the country’s five-year 11th and 12th Malaysia Plans, the meteorological department was installing eight new radar stations in Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak.

“They are an addition to the current 11 radar stations and are expected to be ready by 2022,” the minister explained.

In addition, the DID was also implementing a Flood Warning and Prediction Programme aimed at delivering early warnings to agencies related to disaster management and the public, Tuan Ibrahim said.

Besides siren warning when water levels hit a certain threshold, the alert system would also include flood predictions seven days ahead and issue warnings two days ahead for locations forecasted to be hit by floods.

“As of now, this system is already operating in the Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu river basins with 65 per cent accuracy,” Tuan Ibrahim said.

DID, through the PublicInfoBanjir website, was also constantly monitoring rain and water level conditions throughout the country, and when rain levels hit certain thresholds, warnings would be issued on the website.

Raised water level along Sungai Triang causing floods in Kampong Juntai, Jelebu, Malaysia. PHOTO: BERNAMA

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